Heart Disease

What Kind of Shape Your Heart Is In?

Do you know what kind of shape your heart is in? Knowing the risk factors for heart disease and your level of risk can help you  act to reduce your heart disease risk level by as much as 80%.

Watch this Fox 5 Interview with Emory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist, Dr. Laurence Sperling as he gives you tips on how to make sure you keep your heart in top shape.

Your Heart and the Heat

heart-stethoscopeSummer is finally here! Blossoming flowers, chirping birds and clear skies make the summer a sense captivator. With the abundance of renewed energy it brings us, we might take on new challenges of outdoor exploration, or seek outlets for community bonding with the help of festivals, cook outs and reunions. With so many new and exciting activities awaiting us in the summer months, we often forget that with the gorgeous summer days come hot and often humid temperatures.

Most people are familiar with the typical summer health prevention methods of sunscreen protection for the skin, hydration for the body and repellant for our pesky outdoor neighbors— bugs. But, what about the specific needs of our heart during summer months?

As the body tries to cope with changing temperatures, summer can put extra strain on the heart. Most healthy people can tolerate these changes without missing a beat, but these changes can be especially hard for people with heart failure (or those at risk for heart failure), in the hot and humid climate.

The American Heart Association provides some great tips that everyone can use to guide their heart health precaution in the heat:

•    Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.

•    Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses.

•    Drink up. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

•    Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.

If you or someone you know is experiencing the following symptoms, consult with your physician immediately.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke
•    warm, dry skin with no sweating
•    strong and rapid pulse
•    confusion and/or unconsciousness
•    high fever
•    throbbing headaches
•    nausea, vomiting or both

For more information about how to protect your heart from the heat, visit the American Heart Association website, today.

Related Resources

Heart Disease in Young Women

Young Women Heart Disease Web ChatDid you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? And, what is more alarming is that heart disease affects women of all ages, not just older women. It is very important to know that younger women are more likely to fail to recognize their risk. According to researchers at the American Heart Association, about 16,000 women under age 55 die of heart disease each year, which is close to the same number of women of the same age who die of breast cancer. So, women of all ages should listen up: learn the symptoms of a heart attack so you are not one of the statistics!

If you are young women and have a history of heart disease in your family, have risk factors that could lead to heart disease or are concerned about your chances of developing heart disease, join us on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. EST for a live chat on Heart Disease in Young Women.

Emory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist Susmita Parashar, MD, will answer questions about heart disease in young women including:

  • Why it is crucial for women to know the symptoms of heart disease in women
  • What young women can do to prevent heart disease
  • The importance of getting treatment right away
  • The research underway to combat heart disease in women

To register, visit Emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.

Heart Healthy Cornbread for Your Spring Picnic!

Heart Healthy Cornbread RecipeUse this yummy “Good for you Cornbread” recipe to add a heart healthy option to your spring picnic basket.  It will not only taste great but also provides a heart healthy carbohydrate option.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup low-fat (1%) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup soft tub margarine
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (to grease pan)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 OF. Mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar, and baking powder. In another bowl, combine buttermilk and egg. Beat lightly. Slowly add buttermilk and egg mixture to dry ingredients. Add margarine and mix by hand or with mixer for 1 minute. Bake for 20-25 minutes in an 8- by 8-inch, greased baking dish. Cool. Cut into 10 squares.

Yield: 10 servings

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 square)

  • Calories: 178
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 22 milligrams
  • Sodium: 94 milligrams

Source: National Institutes of Health – www.nih.gov/ Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes

Enjoy this recipes and find other heart healthy recipes at  Emory Healthcare’s Recipe’s for Wellness site.

Emory Healthcare is a proud partner of the American Heart Association in the My Heart. My Life campaign that helps consumers learn the 7 simple steps to a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t Let Your Stress Levels Stress Your Heart

Stress & Heart Disease Chat Sign Up

Join Emory Heart & Vascular Center preventive heart disease specialist Susmita Parashar, MD to learn about how stress can contribute to heart disease. Dr. Parashar will participate in a free live web chat on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 and will be available to provide information linking stress to heart disease as well as answer questions on how to best balance your life to reduce stress. The chat will begin at 12:30pm EST.

Register for the Stress & Heart Disease Web Chat: UPDATE CHAT TRANSCRIPT

 


About Dr. Susmita Parashar

Dr. Susmita Parashar

Dr. Susmita Parashar is a Board certified cardiologist at the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine. Prior to joining as faculty in the Division of Cardiology, Dr Parashar was Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine at Emory for 8 years. She applies her experience as a Board certified internist in providing a holistic care to patients. She was awarded the American Heart Association (AHA) Trudy Bush Fellowship for Cardiovascular Research in Women’s Health Award to recognize outstanding work in the area of women’s health and cardiovascular disease and Emory Department of Medicine Early Career Faculty Research Award for Clinical Research.

Dr Parashar completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, Augusta and Cardiology fellowship at Emory University. She completed her Master of Public Health and a Master of Science from Emory in 2005. A passionate clinician-researcher and educator, she trains medical students, residents and cardiology fellows. In addition, she conducts clinical research. Dr Parashar’s clinical and research focus is in preventive cardiology with a focus on women and cardiovascular diseases.

She has received several grants and awards from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the AHA to conduct research on women and heart disease. She has served as Emory principal investigator for large NIH funded clinical research for heart attack patients. She was also invited to participate as a co-investigator for the NIH funded Cardiovascular Health Study for older adults. She has presented her work in national and international scientific meetings, including the AHA Annual Session, AHA Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, American College of Cardiology Annual Session, Society of General Internal Medicine and International Congress of Coronary Heart Disease.

Dr. Parashar has authored/coauthored over 60 peer-reviewed publications, including invited textbook chapters, manuscripts, abstracts and review articles. Her work has been published in such prestigious journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine and Circulation, and highlighted by the Nature and national media such as CNN, CBS and NPR news.

She believes in family-career balance and applies her experience as a mother of two young children and wife to her work.


Atypical Warning Signs for Heart Attack in Women

Emory Women’s Heart Program cardiologist, Dr. Susmita Parashar outlines some of the differences in the symptoms of heart disease in women versus men in this CNN news piece.

Stress & Heart Disease Chat Sign Up

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life program.

Join Emory Cardiologist Susmita Parashar, MD in a live chat on Stress and Heart Disease* on Tuesday, February, 28, 2012 at 12:30. To learn more visit emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats.

 

Related Resources:

 

Dark Chocolate: The Heart Healthy Gift for Your Valentine

Dark Chocolate ValentineAs Valentine’s Day approaches, Saint Joseph’s cardiologist Jason Reingold, MD, says go ahead and give your sweetheart some dark chocolate this year – to consume in moderation.

In the past year, more research has suggested a beneficial link between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular events. In one study, participants with the highest levels of chocolate intake had a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 percent reduction in stroke compared with participants who consumed the lowest levels of chocolate.

The secret behind chocolate’s beneficial effects on the heart is the effect of powerful micronutrients – flavonoids and phenols found naturally in the cocoa bean. These compounds function like antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables where free radicals are neutralized and destroyed, helping the body resist damage to cells. For example, flavanols help keep LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized and clogging up coronary artery walls.

Studies also suggest that the phenols found in dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure. Improvement in blood pressure has been found in people who consumed as little as 3 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate every day for 15 days. But, the effect may be short lived as one study found that after only two days without chocolate blood pressure returned to previous higher levels.

Finally, researchers believe that dark chocolate can help improve endothelial function. This refers to the cells that line the blood vessels to help keep them dilated and elastic. Coupled with reducing inflammation, normal endothelial function promotes free flowing blood and prevents platelets from sticking together and forming a clot which can lead to stroke and heart attack.

Unfortunately, there can be a down side to the chocolate we eat every day. First, as chocolate is processed to eliminate the natural bitter flavor, the beneficial flavonoids and phenols are also removed. Second, the chocolate we consume is usually processed with excess fat and sugar. These extra calories can lead to obesity and diabetes, which can reverse any positive effects that chocolate may have on the heart.

So, like all things in life, the best solution is to eat dark chocolate in moderation:

  • Look for a cocoa content of at least 65 percent and remember the higher the better in terms of flavonoids and phenols. Milk chocolate has lower levels of cocoa, and white chocolate does not contain any cocoa. Even worse, both have more fat and sugar than dark chocolate.
  • Limit yourself to no more than 3 ounces (85 grams) a day
  • Balance the extra calories from chocolate by eliminating calories from your diet
  • Don’t wash down your chocolate with milk, as it may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate
  • Don’t forget about other sources of flavonoids and phenols like fruits, vegetables and red wine

About Dr. Reingold—Dr. Reingold is a board certified cardiologist who specializes in preventive cardiology at Saint Joseph’s Heart and Vascular Institute. He is the chairmen of research for the Womens Heart Center and active investigator within the Saint Joseph’s Research Institute.  Dr. Reingold has been featured on CNN’s health program Sanjay Gupta, MD, and is well published in medical literature.

Young Women, Take Notice: Heart Disease can Affect You Too!

Heart disease affects women of all ages.  Three Saint Joseph’s Hospital patients shared their incredible stories of surviving heart disease at a young age on Sunday, February 5, Focus Atlanta show.  In addition, Saint Joseph cardiologist, Dr. Lee Padove,  gives risk factors, symptoms and treatment options for women who have heart disease.   View these incredible patient stories by checking out the video below, and take charge of your heart health today!

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life program.

Did you Know Heart Disease is the Number 1 Killer of Women?

And…heart disease kills more women than the next 5 highest causes COMBINED!  In fact, 40,000 more women than men die of heart disease each year.

Gina Lundberg, MD, cardiologist at Saint Joseph’s Hospital who specializes in heart disease in women gives tips of how you can lower your risk for heart disease and protect yourself!


Don’t forget to join Emory Healthcare nutritionist Cheryl Williams, RD, LD  on Thursday, February 9 for a live chat to learn some ideas for heart healthy recipes. To register visit emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats!

Related Resources:

Take control of your Heart Health and join us at the Go Red Connect Event!

Go Red for WomenJoin Saint Joseph’s Hospital tomorrow, Saturday, February 4 for the Atlanta American Heart Association’s Go Red CONNECT Event at Macy’s at Perimeter Mall.

Details

Where:

Macy’s – Perimeter Mall

4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Saint Joseph’s Hospital, the American Heart Association and Go Red For Women are calling on Atlanta women to Make It Their Mission to fight heart disease.

Come CONNECT with women across the metro area, Go Red volunteers, and heart disease survivors to learn how you can save your life and the lives of other women.

Saint Joseph’s Hospital staff will be offering free cardiovascular screenings as well as provide educational material on how to stay heart healthy.

Other events during the day include healthy cooking demos, heart health information, exclusive Go Red giveaways and much more!

Women will have the opportunity to share their stories in front of the American Heart Association’s camera and have the chance to become a spokesperson for the Go Red for Women cause.  If you are chosen you could represent the AHA’s Go Red For Women in marketing materials, at events, on GoRedForWomen.org, etc!

 

See you all there!

Related Resources

Saint Joseph’s Heart & Vascular Institute website

Emory Heart and Vascular Center Women’s program website

Healthy Heart recipes

American Heart Association Atlanta website